Thermoforming Clear Aligners and Retainers With 3D Printed Models

Produce Clear Aligners and Retainers at Scale, Powered by Formlabs

 

The clear aligner and retainer market is now a mature and rapidly growing field in orthodontics. With the most recent technological advancements in CAD software and 3D printing, now any lab or practice can add this valuable service with little initial investment and produce aligners and retainers in-house.

dental scan

1. Scan
Collect patient anatomy digitally using an intraoral scanner, or scan a physical model or impression using a desktop scanner.

 

dental design cad software

2. Design
Import the scan data into CAD software, where tooth movements are planned or brackets are virtually removed.

3. Print
Designed 3D models or raw intraoral scans are brought into the PreForm software and sent to the Formlabs printer.

The Workflow for Making Clear Aligners and Retainers

dental 3d printer preparation

4. Prepare
Wash, dry, and post-cure the printed parts using Form Wash and Form Cure.

thermoforming clear aligners or retainers

5. Thermoform
Thermoform the clear aligners or retainers over the 3D printed models.

polish and finish clear aligners or retainers

6. Polish and Finish
Smooth rough edges, remove burrs, and polish the aligner to shine before the final quality control.

Larger Build Volume, Lower Cost

Form 3B’s large build platform and automatic resin dispensing material cartridges allow for more parts per print job. Orthodontic practices and labs can expect to see 55% less labor and costs compared to competitive 3D printers.

Build platform with draft dental parts
ORTHODONTIC MODELS DIRECT TO BUILD PLATFORM

Draft Resin at 200 µm

Up to 8 models per print in ~1 hr or 1 model in ~20 min for €1.70-2.50 per model

Build platform with draft dental parts
ORTHODONTIC MODELS DIRECT TO BUILD PLATFORM

Draft Resin at 100 µm

Up to 8 models per print in ~2 hrs for €1.70-2.50 per model

Build platform with draft dental parts
ORTHODONTIC MODELS NEAR VERTICAL

Draft Resin at 100 µm

Up to 18 models per print in ~5.5 hrs for €1.70-2.50 per model

Build platform with draft dental parts
ORTHODONTIC MODELS DIRECT TO BUILD PLATFORM

Draft Resin at 200 µm

Up to 24 models per print in ~2.5 hrs for €1.70-2.50 per model

Build platform with draft dental parts
ORTHODONTIC MODELS DIRECT TO BUILD PLATFORM

Draft Resin at 100 µm

Up to 24 models per print for €1.70-2.50 per model. Print settings coming soon

Build platform with draft dental parts
ORTHODONTIC MODELS NEAR VERTICAL

Draft Resin at 100 µm

Up to 52 models per print for €1.70-2.50 per model. Print settings coming soon

roi

Calculate Your Time and Cost Savings

Try our interactive ROI tool to see how much time and cost you can save when 3D printing on Formlabs dental 3D printers.

Calculate Your Savings

What Our Customers Say About Working With Formlabs 3D Printers

“The Form 2 is very reliable; we call it a workhorse. We know when we go home at night that when we come in in the morning, everything will be printed. There's not going to be a failure; everything will be there. Because of that, we can build our business around them” – Sean Thompson, Adv.Prosth/Adv.Orth./DIP.PS.(dist) M.P.T. M.M.U./L.O.T.A., founder and director at Ashford Orthodontics

Webinar: How to Create Clear Aligners In Your Practice with 3D Printing

Rick Ferguson DMD, DABOI/ID, DICOI, an educator in implant dentistry of 20 years, and Formlabs dental product manager Sam Wainwright walk through the full production workflow including the software, tools, and proper materials needed to create dental aligners in your own office.

Watch the recording to learn:

  • Dr. Ferguson’s workflows, tips, and advice on creating clear aligners
  • Overview of digital impression systems and CAD software on the market today
  • Return on investment calculations for 3D printing and thermoforming clear aligner